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Free Content Short communication: Prevalence of typhoid fever in febrile patients with symptoms clinically compatible with typhoid fever in Cameroon

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Typhoid fever is difficult to differentiate from other causes of infection such as malaria because their signs and symptoms often overlap. There has been an unprecedented increase in the number of typhoid fever cases diagnosed in Cameroon. Febrile patients are often treated for malaria and typhoid fever simultaneously. This cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of typhoid fever in 200 consecutive patients with fever and symptoms clinically compatible with typhoid fever to verify recent estimates of a high prevalence of typhoid fever in Cameroon. Patients were enrolled in three of the 10 provinces of Cameroon. Blood culture, thick and thin blood smears and Widal tests using acute sera were performed in all cases; stool culture for 120 patients. Typhoid fever was confirmed in only 2.5% as evidenced either by culture (four cases) or high salmonella antibody titres (one case); malaria was diagnosed in 94 (47%) patients. Typhoid fever is not as endemic in Cameroon as recently feared.

Keywords: Cameroon; differential diagnosis; malaria; prevalence; typhoid fever

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: 1: TB Research and Development Programme, Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds, UK 2: Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon

Publication date: June 1, 2003


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